Louis van Gaal isn’t the most popular figure at Manchester United at the moment but he will be pleased to find he has support from one of his players.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah was handed his debut by the Dutchman and admitted he wants to see Van Gaal in charge at Old Trafford next season.
Van Gaal’s position as Manchester United boss is hanging by a thread, according to reports, with Jose Mourinho linked.
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But if United chiefs heed Fosu-Mensah’s advice, Van Gaal will remain at the club for the foreseeable future.
The 18-year-old made his first appearance against Arsenal in February and made his full debut against Watford three days later.
So it’s no surprise the defender has taken to Van Gaal, no matter how much criticism the manager has taken.
Fosu-Mensah was quoted by Manchester Evening News as telling telesport: “Van Gaal is a man with real personality. I still think it’s great that I was able to make my debut under him. Do I hope he stays? Of course.
“That the club have retained Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs from the Class of 92, says a lot about the club, and that’s very important.”
Van Gaal hasn't delivered the goods
The backing of a player with one Premier League start to his name is unlikely to save Van Gaal, though.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach has overseen a couple of dismal seasons at United that have resulted in the club failing to win a trophy, exiting the Champions League at the group stages and losing their reputation as an exciting team to watch.
If a poll was conducted asking United fans to vote on whether they want Van Gaal at the helm next season, a clear majority would say no.
His cause isn’t helped by Mourinho’s availability. According to Spanish newspaper El Pais (brought to our attention by The Guardian), the former Chelsea boss has signed a pre-contract agreement to replace Van Gaal in the summer.
Included in the contract, apparently, is a clause that states United must pay Mourinho £15 million if he isn’t hired by June 1.
Ferguson has concerns about Jose
The reason for United’s hesitation in appointing the Portuguese coach now is believed to be caused by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton’s concerns.
The two board members have a big influence at the club following their successful spells and have doubts that Mourinho is the man.
The Mirror also report that Mourinho’s reluctance to promote youth players in his seven previous managerial stints is a turn-off.
United are, of course, famous for promoting their homegrown players, as evidenced by the integration of Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rashford into the first team.
The fear is that Mourinho would change all that.
But the controversial coach is a proven winner, and that’s what United need right now.
United have a big decision to make - hire Mourinho and risk affecting the development of their young players, or stick with Van Gaal and continue to struggle.
Most fans would probably pick the former option.